Just like the Twenty20 series, India once again will have to play catch up with Pakistan in the three match one-day series. I still believe India can win the series though it will be tough as they have to win back-to-back games against a Pakistani side which looks very committed. Dhoni played one of his best knocks in the limited-over format but that was on behalf of his entire team, which wasn't good enough to stop Pakistan.
India will need to up their game in batting because they have an inexperienced fast bowling unit which can do wonders with runs in the kitty, as was evident in the second T20 at Motera. It’s a new look attack and the likes of Ashok Dinda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Parvinder Awana will have to be given sufficient space for them to blossom.
Coming back to the game, firstly, credit has to be given to the Chennai groundsmen. They got the ground ready for the full game even after it soaked in a lot of water due to heavy rain the previous day. Losing the toss did play a part as the ball did jag around in suitable conditions but I would have been happy if, after the first ten overs, India were 25 for one instead of 29 for 5.
The top-order needed to show some commitment to fight and this has been a worry for the batting in testing situations for sometime now. The opening pair has to be more resolute and for India to win games, the openers will have to build a base. Rohit Sharma continues to puzzle us as he has the talent but continues to fail even after getting so many opportunities. He can never crib about not been given a proper run in the national side. At the moment, India can surely look to play Jadeja instead of Rohit.
I am really impressed by this Pakistan side. After a long time I am watching a Pakistan team that is hungry and committed to succeed. Pakistan continue to surprise one and all by keeping on producing fast bowlers galore and the trio of Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan and Umar Gul could be a handful for the team. The batting seems more balanced in the 50-overs game with the inclusion of Misbah and Younis Khan. The only worry for them should be Saeed Ajmal as the spinner hasn't got into a wicket taking spree.
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(The writer is a former captain)